Faithful reader Chuck writes:
Dennis, I’ve determined I need a 70-foot ethernet cable. It will also be running “outside the building.” What would you suggest here? (Inside is impossible; so we’re going to sort of trail along with the coax on the outside.) And where might I obtain such an item?
Thanks for writing, Chuck!
When it comes to wiring your home or office, there are some times when you just *have* to go outside. The problem is that outside is a very inhospitable climate for your average network cable. The vinyl jacket of your garden-variety network cable breaks down in sunlight, eventually becoming thin an brittle. The drastic temperature changes throughout the year cause trouble too. Luckily, there’s a product built just for this situation.
What you want is a “UV Shielded” cable with a special plastic coating. After a bit of digging, I found Cat5eCableGuy.com wich has small (100 ft) increments of Outdoor Cat5e cable for less than $25. Good deal. Item “3A” on that page would be my choice.
If the cable will be running anywhere near power lines or electric motors, I recommend getting “Plenum” cabling, which will have a thin layer of foil surrounding the 4 twisted pairs of wiring. The shielding helps to protect against interference.
Finally, if you’re going to simply ‘zip tie’ the network cable outdoors to the existing cable TV line, make sure to use “UV Rated” zip ties. I found a 100-pack for $3.20 available at Monoprice.com.